The Optimist Creed — Part 8

Today is Monday, so this post is on self confidence. 

As you know, optimism is a key component of self confidence.  Several weeks ago, I did a post on The Optimist Creed.  It was a hit.  Several people asked for a copy.  The first post was so well received that I’ve decided to do a series of posts on The Optimist Creed.  This is another in that series.

If you would like a copy of The Optimist Creed suitable for framing, please send an email to with the words “Optimist Creed” in the subject line.

The Optimist Creed

Promise Yourself:

  • To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
  • To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
  • To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
  • To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
  • To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
  • To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
  • To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
  • To wear a cheerful countenance at all times, and give every living creature you meet a smile.
  • To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
  • To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear and too happy to permit the presence of trouble. 

Last week I focused on the seventh point of The Optimist Creed.  Today, I’d like to discuss the eighth point: “Promise yourself to wear a cheerful countenance at all times, and give every living creature you meet a smile.”

I’m a 60’s rock and roller.  Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young were, and still are, one of my favorite groups.   Today’s Optimist Creed point reminds me of a line from Wooden Ships, one of their songs.  “If you smile at me I will understand, because that is something everyone, everywhere does in the same language.”

It’s true; a smile is universally understood as a gesture of goodwill.  That’s why I like the eighth point of the Optimist Creed so much.  It’s simple common sense.  Smile at people, and they smile back.  I actually put this to the test on Friday.  I was on a flight from Newark to Denver.  I got an upgrade and was seated in 1E, so I was in a good position to make eye contact with almost everyone who got on the flight.  As people got on the plane, I would catch their eye, and smile.  All but two smiled back.
How does this relate to optimism and self confidence?  Simple.  You feel better about yourself and more self confident and optimistic when other people smile at you.  The best way to encourage others to smile at you is to smile at them first.

To do this, you have to take a risk – albeit a small one.  Smiling at others, sometimes – but not often – will get you a scowl in return.  No one I know likes to have others scowl at him or her.

If you’ve been reading this blog you know that optimism is only one component of self confidence.  In addition to being optimistic, self confident people face their fears and take action, and they surround themselves with positive people. 

Facing your fear of rejection and taking action comes into play here.  When you smile at strangers, you are taking action.  You’re showing that you’re not afraid to engage them.  They may scowl back, but so what?  You’ve taken action to demonstrate that you are a friendly and open person.  Who cares if they don’t reciprocate?  It’s their loss if they don’t return a smile with a smile.

The common sense point here is simple.  Smile and the world smiles with you – and that helps your self confidence.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for reading.  Log on to my website for more common sense.  I am not posting regularly on my blog right now, as I want to concentrate on this one.  It is still up though.  Please don’t cancel your RSS feed as I will be posting there occasionally.  And, you can still get a free ebook version of my book 4 Secrets of High Performing Organizations by visiting

I’ll see you around the web and at Alex’s Lemonade Stand.


PS: Speaking of Alex’s Lemonade Stand, my fundraising page is still open.  Please go to to read Alex’s inspiring story and to donate if you can.

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